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PhD position

University of Twente's Technical Medical Centre is widely recognized for its excellence in development of new biomedical solutions and advanced biofabrication …

ongeveer een maand geleden


Drienerlolaan, Enschede, Overijssel
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
40 - 40 uur
€ 2434 - € 3111 per maand


University of Twente's Technical Medical Centre is widely recognized for its excellence in development of new biomedical solutions and advanced biofabrication technologies to address important biomedical challenges. Here, various Departments work on pressing topics with high societal and biomedical relevance such as osteoarthritis. Within the Department of Developmental BioEngineering (DBE; https://www.utwente.nl/en/tnw/dbe/, a vacancy exists for a PhD-student funded by the Marie Sklodowska-Curie co-Fund Innovative Training Network (ITN) Ostaskills (www.ostaskills.eu).

Within the DBE Department, we work on the development of various intra-articular injection therapies for the management of osteoarthritis. More specifically our interest focusses on the use of small antibody fragments, i.e. variable domains of single chain heavy chain only antibodies (VHH). These VHHs have various advantages over conventional antibodies. They are small and extremely stable, consist of a single peptide chain and are equally effective in antigen binding and/or neutralization in comparison to conventional antibodies. VHHs are amenable for facile genetic modification optimizing antibody properties and due to their small size, they can be cost effectively produced using bio fermentation processes in yeast for a fraction of the costs of conventional antibodies. Particularly relevant for cartilage repair VHHs can easily penetrate the dense cartilage matrix in contrast to the impaired capacity of conventional antibodies to reach the cartilage embedded chondrocytes. The topic of this PhD project focusses on developing VHHs that target to chondrocytes in damaged cartilage inducing a regenerative response in the damaged tissue. This process involves selection and thorough characterization of the VHHs and the validation of their potential use as a disease modifying agent, their formulation in biomaterials capable for controlled and sustained release after an intra-articular injection, their targeting to cartilage and the validation in ex vivo models of the human joint, in so-called joint-on-chips.


  • Hold a Master degree in Biomedical Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, or an equivalent field of research. A background in (molecular) cell biology is preferred, but not essential.
  • Experience in cell culture, tissue engineering, or basic polymer chemistry. Experience in imaging will be considered as a benefit;
  • Excellent analytical skills and an innate ability for solution oriented problem solving;
  • Team player with great communication skills and willing to perform part of the PhD training at one of the participating academic and/or industry partners;
  • Demonstrable leadership potential and experience in the supervision of bachelor and masterstudents;
  • Fluent in English, both spoken and written.


As a PhD candidate you will be offered a full-time (38 hours/week) position for four years, after which you should have completed your PhD thesis.

In accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, the gross monthly salary for a PhD increases from € 2434,-- in the first year to € 3111,- in the final year plus a holiday allowance (8%), an end year bonus (8.3% of the annual salary) and a number of additional benefits.

The University of Twente provides excellent campus facilities, and actively supports professional and personal development.
  • We provide excellent mentorship and a stimulating, modern research environment with world-class research facilities.
  • You will be embedded in a dynamic research group.
  • Additionally, the UT is a green campus with excellent facilities and resources for professional and personal development.
  • You will follow a high-quality personalized educational program in part co-designed with the Ostaskills consortium and the training opportunities offered in this program.
  • Part of the PhD training will be performed by a secondment of approximately half a year to one of the other partners in the Ostaskills training network.
  • The research will result in a PhD thesis at the end of the employment period.

Additional information

Please send your application via the 'Apply now' button, and include:
  • A motivation letter describing why you apply for this position
  • A description of your research interests
  • A detailed CV
  • Academic transcripts from your Bachelor's and Master's degrees.
  • Contact information (incl. email address) of at least two references who are willing to send a letter of recommendation on your behalf.
  • Due to the specific requirements of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie co-Fund Innovative Training Network Dutch residents can not apply for a PhD position at the University of Twente but they can apply for a PhD position at other participating Research Institutes in the Ostaskills training network (www.osteoskills.eu).
You are welcome to contact prof. dr. Marcel Karperien (Email: marcel.karperien@utwente.nl) for any questions you may have.

Applications are welcome till 1st of december 2021.